Chinese porcelain Zangzhou ‘Swatow’ ware jar, 17th-18th century


Chinese porcelain ‘Swatow’  jar, of elegant globular form with minimal neck, painted all over in onglaze enamels with four large petal form panels of flowering plants, set on a lattice ground with petal lappet border to the rim.

18th-19th century

15cm wide, 13cm high

good condition with minor wear to enamels.


From a collection put together by an Australian in Indonesia last century.

Examples of this onglaze enamel decoration are hard to find in good condition as they wear very easily. Dating is difficult, with examples appearing in the late 16th century and continuing on into the 19th century: the 1608 Bihn Thuan shipwreck had a vast number of polychrome wares on board, but so did the Tek Sing wreck of 1822!
The style of the decoration on this Swatow jar suggests a later date, in the 18th-19th century.


Zangzhou (Changchow) is a major production centre for this type of distinct porcelain body, and appears to have been focussed on the export market to South-East Asia in the 16th-17th century. Older literature discusses them as ‘Provincial’ Ming, but excavations in the 1950’s in Fujian Provence located numerous ceramic production centres, with Zangzhou on the Jiulong River giving the name to this category of ceramics.


See more on the subject by clicking on the Zangzhou link.




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